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Sudbury could stop using salt on 73 km of city roads


A new report headed to the operations committee next week says new standards and a review of traffic counts means the city can stop using salt to maintain 73.38 kilometres of city roads.

While only a fraction of the 3,620 lane kilometres the city maintains in the winter, it would reduce the amount of salt dumped on local roads by 1,600 metric tonnes a year.

The city uses a combination of sand, brine and salt to maintain streets in the winter. How each road is maintained is determined by what’s known as ‘minimum maintenance standards.’

Those standards are based on how many vehicles travel on the road each day and the posted speed limit. Roads with the highest speed limits and heaviest traffic counts are Class 1, 2 and 3 and are maintained with salt.

Roads Class 4, 5 and 6 are usually only plowed and sanded, with the goal of maintaining them in a “snow packed state,” said a staff report on the plan.

The province issued new maintenance standards in 2018, but before they could be implemented, updated traffic counts for the affected roads in Sudbury had to be completed.

The results of that process mean “several road segments can be converted from salt to sand routes,” the report said.

“For instance, Loachs Road, between Regent Street and Latimer Crescent, that was previously treated with salt … can now be treated with sand,” the report said.

“Reduction in salt use is expected to reduce its impacts on the environment and sources of drinking water.”

The committee will review the report Aug. 14. The next step after that will be informing the public about the changes and the reasons behind them.

Read the full report here. A list of affected streets can be found here. Top Stories

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